Joint stiffness refers to pain when moving a joint or the loss of range of motion when moving a joint. The most common joints to become stiff include the joints of the fingers and hands, toes and feet, wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, stress and hormone imbalances are the most common causes of joint stiffness.
In rheumatoid arthritis, these three stages contribute to joint stiffness: first, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, then the joint synovium thickens and finally the inflamed cells release bone-digesting enzymes, often distorting the joint shape.
The wonder of acupuncture is that it addresses the problem right at the source – inflammation. By first reducing and then eliminating the inflammation, the stiffness goes away and the next two stages involving synovium, cartilage and bone simply cannot happen. Even if rheumatoid arthritis has progressed, once the cause of inflammation is gone, bones and cartilage can heal. Acupuncture treats rheumatoid arthritis very effectively in restoring circulation, reversing inflammation and restoring full range of motion with ease.
Osteoarthritis is also called “degenerative joint disease.” This painful condition occurs when joint cartilage wears away. Resolving the root of the problem, that is, reducing inflammation and improving circulation in the joints, will allow your joint cells to regenerate new tissue and reverse this condition, relieving pain and restoring range of motion. Most people consider joint pain and stiffness an inevitable part of aging. However, joint stiffness and joint wear and tear usually result from chronic inflammation. Once the acupuncture resolving the inflammation, joint pain and stiffness will disappear.
Stress also causes joint stiffness. Stress hormones act as inflammatory agents in your joints, reducing your body’s ability to heal its tissues. The gentle healing used in acupuncture helps your body to resolve stress, thus removing the cause of inflammation. As a result, cells in your joints can regenerate and repair the tissues.
Another common cause of joint inflammation is hormonal imbalance. Acupuncture’s balancing effects help restore normal hormone levels so that inflammation doesn’t occur, and joints regain their health.